Cadence must have been thinking about Marcus a little too deeply and a little too long because by the time she finished sighing, she had teleported to the foot of his bed. She thanked God she was still wearing her sweatpants and bra under her giant t-shirt.
He looked up from his book and their eyes met. Cadence smiled. Marcus grimaced.
“Cadence, you have to stop doing this,” he said as he bookmarked his page and closed the book. He was sitting on top of his comforter in a t-shirt and boxers.
“Sorry. I didn’t mean to,” she said, picking at the back of her afro with her hand.
“You never mean to,” he said. He sighed and rubbed his furrowed brow. He pushed his glasses up before he placed the book on top of a notebook he had next to him on the bed.
“What? You don’t believe me?” Cadence said, trying to keep calm. Her anger was starting to rise. She hoped it would burn away her anxiety.
“I didn’t say that, but c’mon Cadence. It’s been three months.”
“And we were together for almost two years. I thought about you everyday. I still think about you everyday.”
“That’s normal,” he said. “But you shouldn’t be jumping to me.”
“Trust me, if I could make sure I’d never jump to you again, I would,” she said.
Cadence stood up and turned away from him. She had to calm down if she was going to teleport home. And she couldn’t stay calm while looking at him in his t-shirt and boxers and with his stern face.
She glanced around the room. He had gotten a lot of new books over the past three months. There were also several notebooks on his desk, one was open. The pictures of her and him together on the collage wall had been replaced with family members and friends. She pushed her thumb into her palm and gently made a fist.
“You’ve been writing?” she asked, resisting the urge to go peek at the open notebook.
“Oh you care now?” he asked.
She rolled her eyes and turned around. He was standing up by the top of his bed, his right hand drumming on his thigh. He was slim, but not skinny enough to be lanky for his height. Cadence was glad she was far enough away so she didn’t have to look up at him. She crossed her arms.
“I did care about your writing,” she said. “Just because I forgot to go to a few open mics, all of the sudden it’s ‘I don’t care.'”
“You didn’t think it was important to you so you didn’t show. Even after I told you it was important to me.”
“You already broke up with me,” Cadence said, venom in her voice. “We don’t need to have this argument again.”
“Yeah, well, I’m waiting for you to leave.”
“Obviously you forgot the very important detail that I can’t jump when I’m anxious. And here you are attacking me.”
“Attacking?!” Marcus exclaimed as he stepped closer to Cadence.
She stepped back.
“You shouldn’t even be here, Cay,” Marcus said, sitting on the edge of the bed. He sighed.
“Don’t call me Cay,” she snapped. “Only people who love me call me that.”
They glared at each other. Cadence felt her eyes start to sting. She looked away from him and blinked back her tears.
“You know what?” Cadence said, throwing her hands up. “I’ll just let myself out downstairs and take a cab.”
“I can take you home,” he said.
“No, I’ve bothered you enough,” she said, walking toward the door.
He teleported and touched her wrist.
“It’s okay, Cay…I mean Cadence.”
She looked up at him, tears welling in her eyes. He used to make her feel so safe.
“I love you so much,” she whispered, touching his face. “Loved you. I loved you so much.”
She teleported back home.
“I loved you so much too,” he said out loud.
He sat down on his bed, took off his glasses, and put his head in his hands.